New Advisory Board Members Bring Wealth of Experience from Across Entertainment Industry and Within the University of Virginia and Charlottesville Communities
Charlottesville, VA – June 30, 2020 – The Virginia Film Festival has announced today six new additions to its VAFF Advisory Board.
The Virginia Film Festival is a program of the University of Virginia, with support from the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.
Coming from across the entertainment industry as well as from the UVA and Charlottesville communities, the new members bring a wealth of important experience and a variety of new perspectives that will help the VAFF continue to evolve as an organization, VAFF Director and UVA Vice Provost for the Arts Jody Kielbasa said.
“We are thrilled to welcome these extraordinary individuals and professionals to our Advisory Board,” Kielbasa said. “Our Board, headed by Academy Award-winning producer and UVA alumnus Mark Johnson, plays an invaluable role in helping us to shape each year’s Film Festival while continually working to help set us up for long term success. The addition of these new members will no doubt contribute greatly to those efforts, and we are already reaping the benefits of their experience and counsel.”
The new VAFF Advisory Board members include:
Beverly Colwell Adams – Beverly is an Assistant Dean, UVA College of Arts & Sciences, and Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. She earned a BA in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia as well as an MS (Developmental Psychology) and PhD (Cognitive Psychology-Psycholinguistics) from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include the examinations of microaggressions as one of the contributing variables to the decline of physical and mental health of strong black women. Beverly is deeply engaged with organizations across the Charlottesville and UVA communities including as a founding member of the Black Faculty and Staff-Employee Resources Group, City of Promise, Charlottesville Live Arts, among others.
Liz Biber – Liz is partner and head of content PR at The Lede Company, a public relations firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York, where she works with a diverse group of clients on strategic campaigns for films, televisions, podcasts, and awards. Her career has taken her from legendary large studios like Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures to the leaders of the independent film world. She has led highly-successful campaigns including for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds; The Reader which won Kate Winslet the Oscar for Best Actress; Oscar Best Picture-winner Spotlight; Jon Favreau’s successful indie darling Chef; and more.
Jocelyn Diaz – A longtime television and film executive for Disney, HBO, and ABC Television, among others, Jocelyn’s most recent position was as Executive Vice President for EPIX, a premium cable channel, where she oversaw all aspects of development and production for both original scripted drama and comedy programming as well as non-scripted programming. Her credits include Lost; Ugly Betty; Boardwalk Empire; Big Love; Into the Woods; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Berlin Station; and Get Shorty. Jocelyn is a Washington, D.C. native and holds a BA from the University of Virginia, where she serves on the Alumni Association Board of Managers.
Steven Kung – The son of Taiwanese immigrants, and a graduate of the University of Virginia, Steven is a writer-director who directed the sixth season of Fresh Off the Boat and is a writer on Dear White People. He has been telling minority, queer, and female-forward stories for his entire career, and most notably with A Leading Man, his feature film about Asian American representation in entertainment.
Marshall Persinger – University of Virginia alumna Marshall is known for producing unique, edgy films, documentaries, and television through her company Fresh Produce Pictures. She recently executive produced the upcoming Showtime series The Good Lord Bird, which stars Ethan Hawke as the abolitionist John Brown. Other television credits include Hulu’s Into the Dark series; the TNT/PTV Emmy-nominated series The Alienist; AMC/SundanceTV’s Peabody Award-winning Rectify, executive produced along with Mark Johnson; and ABC Studios/Lifetime’s hit series Army Wives.
Linda Stanley – As Market President of Bank of America, Charlottesville and of Greater Virginia, Linda leads the integration of local lines of business to deliver the full resources of the Bank of America enterprise to individuals, businesses, and institutional investors. Additionally, she oversees corporate social responsibility activities, including philanthropic giving, community development lending and investing, environmental initiatives, diversity efforts, arts and culture projects, and employee volunteerism. Linda is an active participant in the bank’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Program for the IGEN Affinity Group, Women’s Leadership LEAD Affinity Group, and she also serves as a mentor in the Mid-Atlantic Region Program as well as the Collaborative Mentoring Program.
The Virginia Film Festival is currently monitoring latest health and safety guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia and will officially announce plans for the 2020 Festival later this summer.
For more information on the Virginia Film Festival, visit us at virginiafilmfestival.org.